Back in the 1980’s there was a tedious parlour game called Trivial Pursuit. You could be good at it if you were easily entertained or had a ‘bitty’ mind and a talent for not being able to differentiate the forest from the trees. It’s a parable about religion.
God cares that we love each other, are gracious to each other and forgive each other. He cares that we be all that we can be as daughters and sons. He cares that we know that we belong, that He is our true home and that we have a life forever in Him. If we persist in a bid to know Him or more correctly respond to His wooing of us into union with the Trinitarian Family, we will eventually understand that He is not a God of trivial pursuit; we will know that life in Him is not a game of pointless pieties and that he is entirely careless about whether we worship Him on Wednesday, Saturday or Monday. He is interested not in our ‘worshiping’ Him in some subservient way but in our friendship with Him and flourishing in His life. It may be distressing for the fundamentalist to hear this since, fundamentalism has done much to make religious trivial pursuit an art form.
ALIVE IN GOD
We were made to live in God. We have been redeemed back into this state of being. There is a universe of difference between those who live from religion – ‘God Stuff’ and those who live in God and one with God. The latter have no need to be religious in any shape or form. They are simply alive: Alive with His spirit and life.
God will not attempt to micro-manage us. He does not compile lists of sins to avoid or virtues to adopt. He abolished the letter and gave us Himself – a life to live in our being by the Spirit, so that we can flourish in our humanity and grow into the fullness of sonship. You will never be a pious git when Christ is your life.
‘A voice came from the cloud, saying, "This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him’ Luke 9.35 NIV.
THE OFFENCE OF THE REAL
A life that is Christ does not always please the religious. But it pleases Father. In religion we can be pleased with a ‘Christian life.’ We can think that this is Christ our life. Actually it’s the shadow but not the reality. His Kingdom was never a religion. He never established one as such. His kingdom is solely the multiplication of Himself in individuals, communities and societies. I believe it is probable that the new creation will not come by fiat of God. It will come as the result of Christ manifesting Himself in people. Through Christ in humanity will come the regeneration of the world – the realisation of the new creation.
With Father the whole is always greater than the sum of the parts. Humans are too often obsessed with the parts, attempting to make themselves whole by them. This is life in the knowledge of good and evil – a life that is fundamentally different to a life in God. Indeed a law-attachment of any kind will make us vulnerable to the religious spirit. Richard Rohr writes,
‘Religious people tend to confuse the means with the actual goal. In the beginning, you tend to think that God really cares about your exact posture, the exact day of the week for public prayer, the authorship and wordings of your prayers, and other such things. Once your life has become a constant communion, you know that all the techniques, formulas, sacraments, and practices were just a dress rehearsal for the real thing-LIFE ITSELF - which actually becomes a constant intentional prayer. Your conscious and loving existence gives glory to God.’
Genuine holiness and wholeness is not a project or a pursuit. It is you. It is you in God and you as the daughter/son you really are. Your worship takes the form of you being you in God – of you being who you are: A son/daughter in spirit and in truth because you and Father are one.